Season starts with solemn reminder
An Anzac Day tribute round saw a new season of the North Pilbara Football League start on a solemn note last Friday night. The Kats defeated the Falcons in their Karratha derby match, while Wickham Wolves bested the Sharks and the Swans were triumphant in
Reigning league premiers the Karratha Kats sank their claws into a new season of the North Pilbara Football League on Friday with a 40-point win over cross-town rivals the Falcons.
The match also marked a milestone 200th game for one of the home side’s club champions.
It was a big first game of the season at the Falcons’ Bulgarra Oval, being also an all-Karratha derby and the annual Anzac tribute round, and drew big crowds to match.
It began on a solemn note with an Anzac Day tribute involving personnel from the Pilbara Regiment carrying the Australian flag onto the field, the sounding of Last Post and the crowd observing a minute’s silence.
Once play began, there were no holds barred.
The action was mostly stop-start in the first quarter as both teams settled back into league football, and things got physical early on when a Falcons player was carried off the field on a stretcher.
However both sides started to get the flow of play as time wore on and they were moving the ball more smoothly by quarter time, when the Kats led by only one point, 2.2 (14) to 2.1 (13).
But the defending champions stepped up and started kicking away midway through the second term, scoring four majors while the Falcons struggled to convert and were held goalless for the term.
The Falcons got their hands on the ball a lot more in the third quarter and managed to concentrate play in their forward 50 for much of it, gaining two goals for their effort.
It all led to a much more freeflowing and controlled game in the last term but it was still the Kats who had the upper hand and, while the Falcons hung in, they were unable to come back.
Kats league coach John Wellington said it had been an “ugly win” but they were glad to get the points regardless.
But the Falcons still had reason to celebrate, with the match also marking a landmark 200th game for long-term player Michael Formanczyk, a six-times De Grey Medal winner and a three-times runner-up.
He said while it would have been good to get a win, there were still plenty of promising signs for the club now and into the near future.
“I love the club, that’s why I’m still here and with the young boys we’ve got around now, there’s a bright future coming up,” he said.
“We’ve only got a young team and we ticked some boxes tonight.
“They’re the premiers from last year and we pretty much took it up to them.
“It was only four goals apart.
“So the young boys, they’ve got a lot of learning (to do), but it’s going to happen fast.”
The Kats also defeated the Falcons in their reserves match 13.12 (90) to 9.6 (60). Kats’ Daniel Farmer and Falcons’ David Ward kicked five each for their teams.
Kats and Falcons players compete for a mark during their round 1 derby clash.
Kats' Brendan Blizzard takes an overhead mark.
Falcons' Ethan Burmaz chases down a loose ball.